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October 21, 2013: Stardust Memories

I’m finishing up writing my article about Mr. Siggi. My memories of him and our trip (I hope) will eventually be published in the Icelandic Horse Quarterly. Some might ask if what I’ve written is all fact or partially fiction? The answer is that it’s not what I remember, but what I want to remember.

My article is also what I want others to remember. I’d hoped that people who knew him and knew us would ask more questions, so I hope this article is one that will emerge in the telling as a complete story. But only one person has done this. It’s such an important story –this is why I committed to putting it on paper.

Writing is a form of problem solving, and there were in the process of writing this essay, several problems. One of the many writerly questions that I had to deal with was, how do I write about what happened after Mr. Siggi’s death? We

met so many people and went so many places in the two remaining months of our trek that I had a difficult time determining what exactly was relevant to the story. I finally focused on the two endurance rides because I could then elaborate a bit on some of the more specific things that happened – like Pete’s getting the I know You Rider medallion at the event’s conclusion, and my again reconnecting with Raudi.

Another problem that I had was related to the nature of the subject matter, and the thoughts related to the death of a much-loved animal. Too much sentiment is bad. I tried to temper it by including salient detail. And it was hard because of the subject matter itself. Writing about Mr. Siggi repeatedly brought all the memories of the event of his death back to mind.

What’s important here is that I did, in the process of writing, come to some very important self-realizations. The first is that Mr. Siggi is no longer Ziggy Stardust. Rather, he’s just Stardust. This is both in the figurative and literal sense. The second is that I know he’s with us. So at night, when I go to tend to the animals, I say good-night to him. His passing has indeed brought to mind what before was just a passing thought. Mr. Siggi’s passing changed his own life and also changed Pete and mine. I cannot speak for Pete, but I now know that love and loss are inextricably linked.

Next: 209: 10/22/13: Young Dogs and Old Dogs